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The end of Greenphone project

Written by IT News on 11:04 PM

Trolltech Ltd, recently announce that will not continue the Greenphone project. The device launched in 2006, the first fully open handset designed for the development of open-source applications. Running on Trolltech's Qtopia platform, the device was supposed to stimulate the growth of mobile Linux, and the company is adamant that it has done just that.

As replacement of this product, Trolltech will launch or develop other portable media and mobile phone which also use open-source applications.

According to David Bailer, the manager of Trolltech's partner community, the do this is "to catalyze an ecosystem, as well as for internal use".

Bialer said the 2-year-old architecture of the Greenphone was no longer adequate, so Trolltech would like to target "more modern 3G phones." The OpenMoko Neo1973 device, which can now run a port of Qtopia, also appears to be filling much of the need for hackable Linux handsets.

Bialer claimed that demand had recently been increasing for the Greenphone, but Trolltech would try to divert that demand to OpenMoko. "We're not (discontinuing the Greenphone) because there is no demand," he said. "It is an older design and we are not the best hardware company. It's a lot of work shipping these phones all over the world, dealing with customs and cracked screens. We realized this is not our core competency."

But he confessed that, despite hopes that the Greenphone project would break even, it had lost money. This, he said, was because the company ended up using more units internally than it had anticipated. "A lot of our developers have two or three of them," he said. "We probably underestimated how many we were going to consume ourselves."

The candidate that will replace it could be the FIC Neo 1973, recently release on July 2007.

Although Trolltech has not released exact figures, it is understood that just over 1,000 Greenphones were sold, making the device relatively low-volume and therefore expensive to manufacture.

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